Hawaii flight turbulence injures 20 passengers, 11 seriously

Eleven people were seriously injured when a flight to Hawaii was rocked by severe turbulence about 30 minutes outside Honolulu, emergency services have said.

Nine others were transported in a stable condition, the Honolulu Emergency Medical Services said in a statement.

The injured passengers had been on a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Phoenix, Arizona, on Sunday and were taken to multiple emergency rooms.

Responders treated 36 people at the scene, the agency said. Of those transported to hospital for further medical treatment the youngest was 14 months old. The agency said the wounds included a serious head injury, lacerations, bruising and loss of consciousness.

Passenger Kaylee Reyes told Hawaii News Now that her mother had just sat down when the turbulence hit, and did not have a chance to buckle her safety belt. “She flew up and hit the ceiling,” Reyes said.

Hawaiian Airlines in a statement said a number of passengers and crew were taken to area hospitals for further care. The airline said the plane was carrying 278 passengers and 10 crew members, and landed safely in Honolulu about just before 11am.

Thomas Vaughan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said there had been a weather advisory out for thunderstorms that included Oahu and other areas that would have been included in the flight path at the time of the incident.

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